The interoceptive turn

cheryl

cheryl

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The interoceptive turn - aeon

The science of how we sense ourselves from within, including our bodily states, is creating a radical picture of selfhood

Over the past few years, scientists working in neuroscience and psychology have been listening in on these brain-body interactions – in health and illness – and analysing how they constitute the always embodied self. They have been studying the sense of the body from within, which is called interoception. It is a term you will be hearing increasingly. This research is dismantling the pillars of a belief system that has long endured within those fields – as well as in the popular imagination – that the brain is an information-processing machine that can be understood apart from the rest of the body, as if our conscious, reasoning self were the output of a disembodied brain, and as if we were not fully biological creatures. This shift within the mind sciences is game-changing, and merits attention. Yet perhaps because we are in its midst, even its actors might not be fully aware of its historical and philosophical significance – and of its potential cultural and clinical implications. The time has come to take stock of the revolution under way.
 
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